I did a spotlight post for Cape Cursed in September that provides a book description, excerpt, and author information that you can view to learn more about the novel:
“Isn’t that the way it is with most everything in life. You’re usually crusing along thinking things are just swell and then a storm comes and slaps you silly.” — Parker from Cape Cursed
Cape Cursed is set in the fictitious Cape Destiny at the Outer Banks in North Carolina, which is one of the main reasons I chose to read this romance. It’s a beautiful area that is far less commercialized than many other beaches in NC, and the ocean itself is the main attraction. The Outer Banks also holds a special place in my heart because this is where I fell in love with the man who is now my husband.
The romance centers around Bliss and Parker, two individuals brought together in their mission to preserve the Cape Destiny Lighthouse, the focal point and natural treasure of Cape Destiny. Parker is passionate about the lighthouse because he is a descendent of the lighthouse keepers, and he’s excited to meet Bliss, one, because she’s very attractive, and two, she is eager to learn more about the history of the lighthouse. However, once he realizes Bliss’s engineering firm has been designated by the state to move the lighthouse to a different location, she becomes an enemy.
Bliss is disappointed that she and Parker won’t be able to get along since this charming, southern gentleman is currently living right beside the work site in the lightkeeper’s house while doing renovations for its preservation. However, this is her company’s first major job and meeting the deadline for completion is essential to the future success of the company, and she refuses to be thwarted by Parker or anyone else’s opposition to the move. Yet, someone out there keeps trying to sabotage the project.
Surprisingly, when Bliss sees Parker the next day, he apologizes for his behavior and seems to have had a change of heart and accepted the lighthouse’s relocation. This caught me off guard because of how harsh his words were to her only 24 hours earlier. Although the story alternates between Parker’s and Bliss’s POVs, I didn’t get any insight on what caused him to change his mind.
Character development and description about the developing relationship between Parker and Bliss dominate much of the book. Although they are very much attracted to each other, both are reluctant to reveal secrets about their past. Their lack of openness with each other, once their secrets are exposed, creates a major barrier between them that gave me serious doubts about whether they can build a future together. It takes the danger of a major hurricane for Bliss to learn the shocking truth about Parker’s past. Not only does the hurricane cause literal fear and destruction, it symbolizes Bliss’s devastation and mounting suspicion about who Parker is and what he’s really capable of doing.
My feelings about their romantic relationship fluctuated, and even though they pledge their love for each other, which I think comes a bit too soon, I question how genuine it is. If Parker and Bliss really knew each other and had developed a foundation of trust, they wouldn’t have been so quick to judge and doubt each other’s character and intentions. Instead of approaching one another about their concerns, they make decisions based on what they assume the other person feels or thinks. This frustrated me so much at times that I wanted to just give up on them.
On the other hand there were scenes where I couldn’t help but be moved by the power of their feelings for each other:
“Oh Parker,” she whispered, if I ruled the world, I’d take away all the pain your past has caused you. I’d restore the lighthouse for you— “
“Know what I’d do? he asked.
She turned and looked back at him, and the longing in his deep brown eyes reached into her heart and made it ache.
He took her hand. “I’d find a way to love you enough so that you’d never leave me.”
“He charged after her. “Stay, Bliss. Don’t go!” he cried.
As she broke into a run, she heard him call, “When you discover that it’s love that moves heaven and earth, and not some hydraulic lift, come back to me, Bliss. I’ll be here. Waiting for you. Loving you.”
All love scenes in the book are mildly sensual (consummated but not explicit).
At times, Parker and Bliss both question whether the lighthouse is really cursed. They experience heartache, danger, and fear as one major conflict after another crashes down upon them. The story has plenty of obvious foreshadowing so the plot was predictable in many ways. I easily identified the antagonists, but I underestimated and was actually shocked by the lengths their enemies go to in order to protect their interests. The stakes intensify toward the end of the book building toward a very suspenseful climax.
I received a copy of the book courtesy of the author to provide an honest review.
3.5 shining suns
An article about moving the Cape Hatteres Lighthouse on Hatteras Island, NC in 1999: http://www.outer-banks.com/ecnews/19index.asp
“Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Move” (I couldn’t get sound but visual views are beautiful)
“Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Tour”
“The Cape Light: Away from the Edge” (long but interesting if you want to know more about the mechanics of moving a lighthouse. I couldn’t get sound when I watched it.)
Do you have a place that holds special significance for you? Tell me about it.